Sunday 8 December 2013

Vinyl Corner : We Are Knuckle Dragger - The Drone (Album Review)

Album Type :  Full Length
Date Released : 21/10/2013
Label : Sapien Recordings

The Drone, album track listing :

1. This Better Be Life Threatening Norman 02:25
2. Starting Strength 03:30
3. Class Of 94 02:29
4. Bunch Of Fucking Mutants 02:39
5. Sucker 03:19
6. The Moon On A Stick 02:07
7. Learning By Doing 02:08
8. Heres Your Shit Sandwich 03:03
9. Flapjack The Ripper 02:37
10. Funhouse 04:30

The Band :

Aran Glover
Pete Currie
Shaun Abbott

Review :

Few things these days get me more excited than receiving new wax, so when the new record by WAKD dropped on the matt in all its 180 gram splendour, I was understandably excited to give it a spin. 

Before I began on my journey with The Sludgelord, the first and only review I did previously, was coincidently a live review for We Are Knuckle Dragger (nobody saw it!!).  Skip forward 18 months or so and with countless road miles under their belt, supporting Meshuggah, shows at Reading / Leeds festival, not to mention working at Electric Audio with Steve Albini, the Geordies  are back with their latest record, The Drone. 

I’m not gonna lie, I loved their previous record, Tit for Tat, but The Drone, Wow! Straight of the bat, this record does not fuck about.  It is a rather unpleasant affair, indeed how these crazy bastards produced this incongruent nihilistic rager, beggar’s belief.  A symbiotic trio programmed to dish out their own musical Ipecac tablet.  The Drone is guaranteed to induce convulsions.  It is a discordant noise rock Pandora’s box, awkward and unyielding in character.  Shit, if this was a mathematics equation, Einstein would struggle to deal with it.  Did I mention it’s on Clear Frosted Wax?  Even better, right!  

Songs like the brilliantly titled Class of 94’, Bunch of Fucking Mutants are some of the heaviest I have heard this year; angular, abrasive and likely to cause fatigue.  Hell, Kinetosis aint got nothing on this.  Like a 21st century Trout Mask Replica, WAKD produce music which is experimental, avande garde and a bloody masterpiece of noise laden ambition.  Surreptitious in one sense, because in many ways it will not be met with widespread approval, due in no small part to the overspill of neurotic chaos that ensues throughout.

If you like your music unorthodox, challenging and nuttier that bunch of hoarding squirrels, this record is a must have.  Influences can be found from Frank Zappa to Helmet to Jesus Lizard to Cows to Unsane, all wrapped up in a Ross Robinson (he produced it) approved bow.  Within the confines of the abrasion is also a sense of swagger and humour.  Class of 94 is the darkest of all nursery rhymes with amusing anecdotes of ‘Loose Lucy can’t stop fucking her friends and Cautious Rick shot himself in the foot .’  Here’s Your Shit Sandwich with arguably the best song title ever and the refrain of “So nice to meet you, now it’s time to defeat”.  Simply genius writing!  Indeed, if shit tastes this good and was worth something, you better watch who’s near your asshole. 

The Drone is augmented by stunning musicianship throughout and the mix is particularly great too, with every audible detail crystal clear, married together with a distinct live feel.  Arcane yes and music that may be appreciated by few, but investigate the evil secrets of The Drone and you will be rewarded in spades.  The Drone is at variance with conformity, indeed it makes your ears want to have a punch up such is the intensity of the cacophonous jarring discord on offer.  Music is supposed to challenge and excite, The Drone does that and more.  WAKD are taking conformity by the neck and kicking its ass.  Superb stuff and a breathtaking package all round.  Rick Rubin for the next one, boys!! On this performance, hell Kurt Ballou might be knocking on your door!!

Words by : Aaron Pickford

You can buy the sumptuous Limited Edition 12" Vinyl pressed on heavyweight 180g Frosted Clear vinyl cut @ 45 RPM here included is a free download.  Special thanks to Sapien for offering the vinyl for review.  Too badass for words.  \m/

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